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Thread: To upgrade or stay put?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy To upgrade or stay put?

    hi all,

    Setup: EOS 300 standard kit with battery pack upgrade, Cir polarizer filter, remote control and tripod.

    Period of use: 1 1/2 yr
    Preferred use: Travel -> landscape, nature, architecture

    Problems:
    1) Felt restricted by the current lens, not able to zoom sufficiently(short) and the photos seems not sharp(sometimes comparing with P&S).
    2) Shooting in low light using built in flash is really bad.

    Dilemma: Was hoping to add on(or upgrade) current setup but mindful of the costs involved.

    Options:
    1) Was contemplating a Tamron zoom(initially the 28-200mm but saw 28-300 later on) due to lower cost than Canon and seemingly used by quite a nbr of users. Not the best by any chance, but decent and cost effective.
    2) Was advised to get a Canon 50mm f1.8 due to low cost and good quality lens at a budget. (supposedly an extra upgrade)
    3) Getting a standard 70-300mm Canon lens(basic model, not the higher end ones) in order to get full range of zoom required. Again, cost was the main criteria.
    4) Probably the most ex. of the lot is to get a 28-135mm IS Canon lens.
    5) A low cost flash(least important right now) during low light shoot.

    Would appreciate all advice given. Thank you thank you thank thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default

    hi...
    just a little bit from an amatuer like yourself. i used to have the same setup as yours and can totally understand your problem. i guess a lot depts on how serious you take ur hobby coz upgrading can mean a lot of money.
    at least u know your area of interest, i shoot mostly (almost all) humans and street shots so my reqds may be different from yours but am using a 24-85 and 75-300 both canons and very pleased withe the range and quality of the photos (except my 75-300 seems a bit soft..maybe dirty)
    i dunno wat range u using shoot at but i can say that the 24 is a good wide angle to have without killing ur budget ( think anything below that is ex and not very versetile) so i would suggest the tamrom 24-200 SP. saw a few selling at clubsnap. think can get second hand ard$300 or teh older ld version. teh sp version, no complaints.
    teh 50 f1.8 is excellent but depts if it suits ur style pf shooting. from your tone, i think you might be looking at something which offers you more range.
    already mention my 75 300, useful to have but i find that a bit soft. maybe its me, maybe its the len. dunno. (haha can sell you cheap, i thinking of upgrading)
    flash? get either at least a 320 or stay with the build in one or consider 3rd party. lots of decent cheap 3rd party flash ard and for you since i guess landscape and architure not gonna run away, auto flash not that impt to you right? can slowly calculate guide number so just get one of those old manual ones! cheap and good.

    ok.. just my 2 cents worth.. not pro advise, anyone pls correct me if i'm wrong (esp abt the lens!)

  3. #3
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    1) The 28-80mm is a great lens. Don't doubt this lens because all experts say that it is no good. The lens is sharp enough for all my Super 8R prints. Except the color, I cannot tell the difference in sharpness between a print from the 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 and the 50 f1.8 II. BTW did you use a cable release for your tripod shots?

    The 80mm end is quite short, however a 135mm isn't long either. The 73-300mm and the 28-300mm is very huge, unless you plan to carry a big heavy bag, you're better off with the EF 80-200mm F4.5-5.6

    2) Use a Reflector + Tripod combination, any small flash as main light source would be just as bad in low light.

    I hope you know what you need before you decide to buy all those gears. The limitation is often due to the person than the equipment.

  4. #4
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    Hi, thanks for the replies.


    Dehuis:

    Saw the Tamron 24-200 in Clubsnap, but it's nikon mount I think..

    The 50mm is probably something "good to have" that I could live without. I gave it a mention cos ppl I've talked to keep recommending it to me, partly price as well as to practice photography fundamentals on.

    Same for the flashlight, it's more of "good to have" actually... probably won't use it 80% of the time...

    What I am looking at is more of a "do it all" sort of lens for travelling. The current 28-90mm stock lens is ok I guess, just needed more range that's all. I mean, to be frank, I dun blow up my photos, and not keen to blow all my $$$ into lens, not now when I'm still so "green" and in exploration mode.

    Jasonpgc:

    R u referring to the stock lens that came with the camera? I actually had the 28-90mm. I have not shoot with any other lens so can't really compare... and again, info came from various sources on the Net. But for sure, dun really or should I say I can't really differentiate from P&S shots and from mine, well, maybe my eyes are not that good.. hehe..

    Yeah, I've got the cable release for tripod shots, usually use it for night shots when shooting in bulb mode... I'm not actually complaining abt blurred shots from the current lens actually... it just dun seem "sharp".. as in the edges are not totally distinct from the naked eye view.

    Thanks for your concern, I'll definitely not commit without being absolutely sure of what I need... times are bad.. hehe... need to be extremely sure of how to spend the $$$.

    *********************************************

    Was wondering, from some reviews I read on the Net, there's some ppl who are actually able to loan the lens from the shop and test shoot a couple of rolls on it... somehow instincts tells me that we don't get such good deals in SG??

    Thanks...

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by cyberkinetic
    Hi, thanks for the replies.

    Yeah, I've got the cable release for tripod shots, usually use it for night shots when shooting in bulb mode... I'm not actually complaining abt blurred shots from the current lens actually... it just dun seem "sharp".. as in the edges are not totally distinct from the naked eye view.

    Thanks for your concern, I'll definitely not commit without being absolutely sure of what I need... times are bad.. hehe... need to be extremely sure of how to spend the $$$.

    Thanks...
    If you really want to compare with your P&S, put a roll of Velvia in to each camera. Shoot all the pictures using tripod and for the EOS 300 all manual metering and exposure setting. Then compare the slides under a loupe.

    If you want to compare the print, make sure both the negs are sent to print in a good lab like Color Lab in Adelphi. If you choose those cheap 1/2 hr labs, all your pictures will suck even with EOS 1V and 24-70mm F2.8 L.

  6. #6

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    save up the money and wait for it to grow

    when the money is enough then point at the sky and swear that your slowest bare lens will from that fateful day onwards be f2.8

    then proceed to upgrade all the lenses and bodies

    frankly i dont give 2 hoots about high quality filters. things like B+W dont make my pics look better . as long as i can't see the difference in the photos then cheaper HOYA or KONIX filters will always serve me fine

    seriously, if u have good skill and good gear, any lab will give u your value's worth of pics; even if they are those low-profile neighbourhood labs. (unless they make mistakes during processing your pics)

    things like bag, tripod, monopod,casing...can be DIY-styled improvised. personally i dont give any hoot to things like LOWEPRO, MANFROTTO, etc

    after u upgraded then u will be inspired to shoot better. the change in feeling will definitely be there

    meanwhile, have fun!

  7. #7

    Default my take

    HI this is my take,

    and remember that this is just me, whether you'll like to follow the advice is entirely your choice. I agree with clive, if you're serious about your hobby, then screw the gimmicks please... I mean comeon, 24-200? 75-300? These things come with only one quality at a time, either its expensive therefore good, or cheap therefore bad.

    My recommendation is stick to your setup, throw out all those lense, or keep them if you want to, but i'd rather throw them out. Feed them to the strays, buy yourself a prime 50 1,8 and stick with it. If you can make your pictures come out superb with that lense doing all kinds of work. You'll learn one thing:

    That technological advances and gimmicks will liberate you after you've mastered the works of a basic camera. But if you start on something that gives you more than you can handle, you become slave to its function and rather than liberation you are locked down.

    I started with a fm2 with a couple of fungus filled zooms. threw them both out, picked up a nice fifty and worked with it for awhile. slowly moved into wides and teles. And more than a year down the road and having learnt the basics, i'm very very liberated using my f4 and rb 67. having all the auto functions are a bonus when you need them. Otherwise manual functions and sticking to the lense you have on top does all the jobs you require of it.

    best regards
    feng

  8. #8
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    Default Re: To upgrade or stay put?

    Originally posted by cyberkinetic
    hi all,

    Setup: EOS 300 standard kit with battery pack upgrade, Cir polarizer filter, remote control and tripod.

    Period of use: 1 1/2 yr
    Preferred use: Travel -> landscape, nature, architecture

    Problems:
    1) Felt restricted by the current lens, not able to zoom sufficiently(short) and the photos seems not sharp(sometimes comparing with P&S).
    2) Shooting in low light using built in flash is really bad.

    Dilemma: Was hoping to add on(or upgrade) current setup but mindful of the costs involved.

    Options:
    1) Was contemplating a Tamron zoom(initially the 28-200mm but saw 28-300 later on) due to lower cost than Canon and seemingly used by quite a nbr of users. Not the best by any chance, but decent and cost effective.
    2) Was advised to get a Canon 50mm f1.8 due to low cost and good quality lens at a budget. (supposedly an extra upgrade)
    3) Getting a standard 70-300mm Canon lens(basic model, not the higher end ones) in order to get full range of zoom required. Again, cost was the main criteria.
    4) Probably the most ex. of the lot is to get a 28-135mm IS Canon lens.
    5) A low cost flash(least important right now) during low light shoot.

    Would appreciate all advice given. Thank you thank you thank thank you.

    For a first, its great that you know what subjects you are interested in shooting. Now you just need to design your equipment to best suit your shooting style.

    I do agree with the previous posters that the prime 50mm will be a good startup lens [and its a keeper than you would like to hold on to for quite a while]. The 24mm is the most recommended for landscapes.

    But i do think most of us learners [myself included] would like to have a general lens that you fixed on to your camera for day to day shoots, especially for travelling, where you would want a lens that is flexible and versatile, and still do the job reasonably well. My current general lens is the Tokina 28-70mm f2.8 ATX. Apart for the slow (read REALLY slow) AF, i find the colours and saturation quite good. Nice bokeh too, with 2.8 givng good background blur. The price is a plus... Bought it used and mint at about 300.

    I dumped the 28-105mm II for the above. Some may think its a downgrade... But i like it.

    Then again... that's me.

    28-200/300: I have not used it personally... but the range sounds like its pushing it a bit. You win some, you lose some.

    Try the 28-105 for a start maybe. You would find the mark I floating around the used market for less than $250.

    Cheers.

  9. #9
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    I think there's some quality advice in this thread.

    Do you have any budget or spare cash? If not, I guess, you got to stick with what you have now.

    If you have some spare cash to make use. Here's my suggestion:

    For landscape, 24mm is "better" than 50mm. 50mm is cheaper but have hear a few lens breaking into 2 for canon ones.

    If you have spare cash after this purchase, get a SIgma EX 28-70 or Tokina 28-70. Try to avoid those lens that uses 82mm filter as they are more ex.

    If there is some more cash, spend them on film and loved ones.

    You didn't mentioned you have a bag and dry cabinet. They are useful too.

    As most pointed out. 28-80 is a decent lens. I am not too sure for this as the ones that nikon bundle is not to my taste. :P

  10. #10
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    If there is some more cash, spend them on film and loved ones.
    How could i have left that out?!?

  11. #11
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    Thank kew all so much for the advice.

    I guess probably I'll stay put for a while on the current setup, but will continue to read more and practice more to improve... still very much a newbie.

    Left out the bag that I've got, got one Lowepro, can't remember the model, it's a backpack type, 2 compartments, the lower part is the camera portion and the top, just a normal storage area. Like it a lot, especially useful when travelling. Use it to store water, makan, and wat have u on the top section and just bring one bag out.

    Back home, had a simple dry box which I keep the camera kit with some silica gel in the box as well.

    Really really good advices from all. Thanks a whole lot yeah!

    Cheers, Alex

  12. #12
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    Hi, any idea if there's any place which can loan lenses?

    Just wondering if such "try-before-buying" arrangements is available.

    Cheers

  13. #13
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    i am not too sure coz i'm new to clubsnap as well but i do know that some members do lend their lens to others if you prove to be trustworthy... if u you wanna loan a 75-300, can pm me and maybe we can meet up to work somthing up.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by cyberkinetic
    Hi, any idea if there's any place which can loan lenses?

    Just wondering if such "try-before-buying" arrangements is available.

    Cheers
    The best time to try lens would be on ClubSnap shoot outings... There you would have the whole range of lenses to try... Plus the Ls...

    Look out for the events...

  15. #15
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    Your low-light with built-in flash problem, I once had. An external flash really solves it. You should try this out by bringing your camera to a shop. Choose one of the cheaper brands, like Sigma. Shopkeeper may tell you that it is not compatible, but you don't have to believe them. Better yet do some research on flash models by visitiing their websites. Sigma's site actually shows a compatibility list.

    Well by trying it out, you can actually feel how much faster it focuses.

  16. #16
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    Flash wise ok lar... one of those "good to have" for me at the moment...

    Tot of biking to Ubin this weekend and shoot shoot some photos... long time no cycle... hope I'm still alive after reaching Changi from Redhill.

    Mai lor hor ar!!! raining everyday these couple of weeks.. hehe

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